Hello everyone! As you may know, we recently did a blog, Updates in Standardized Testing: 2021, that you can find linked here. However, as we all know, standardized tests are the gift that keeps on giving, so we have even more updates and tips for you here.
Testing Cancellations Responsible for Fewer Tests Taken
In the last few years, there were of course less standardized tests taken by fewer students for a variety of perfectly valid reasons: the coronavirus, travel difficulty, test cancellations, and test optional policies. Many people believed that this was the end of standardized testing, but it seems that this dip in testing was merely a bump in the road and things are turning back to normal. Studies have shown that the decrease in tests taken came down to cancellations and not interest. In states with fewer to no cancellations, testing numbers stayed almost completely even with previous years’ trends. Expect to see pre-coronavirus average number of test takers (which is to say the majority of people) make a return.
Test Scores Will Be More Important For the Classes of ‘22 and ‘23 Than They Were For ‘21
Looking back through time, we can see how each year of graduates had to tackle the dilemma of testing. ‘20 wasn’t affected, scraping in before the coronavirus could cause widespread cancellations and the broad introduction of Testing Optional policies. 2021 was a sadly mixed bag. Some early bird students and high achievers were able to snag scores in February before all the disruption. But the students who tested after that faced serious obstacles. Colleges were on the whole extremely accommodating, introducing testing optional practices, and giving students the benefit of the doubt… though scores always gained the slightest of edges. In 2022, results were still mixed. Early test dates were still subject to coronavirus cancellations, but later tests evened out to an almost normal availability.
Students in the class of ‘23 face difficult decisions. Generally, students, parents, and advisors will base their plan off the trends of previous years, but the previous years are nothing if not variable. Student’s should look more at what they can predict than what has happened in the past. Colleges are now often Test Optional but it’s been proven time and again that sending in scores can give you an edge. Students should weigh their own pros and cons, but, ultimately, sitting for the test and having scores you can send in is the wisest choice.
Students Without Test Scores Will See Increased Competition
The amount of high scoring students on the ACT has, historically, risen each year. Of course, we couldn’t see this trend during the pandemic, but as testing dates return so will the large number of test takers, and with them come the ever rising amount of high scorers. Students who don’t choose to take the exam or send in scores will be compared to the large pool of students who have voluntarily sent in scores above 30. You can see how this gives test takers a concrete edge over non-test takers, since those with scores have easily verifiable proof of their high credentials. (As of now it is unclear whether this score increase also applies to the SAT, but the tests tend to mirror one another in trend)
We hope this helps! Keep an eye out for Part 2 of Testing Updates.